A perfect Texas fall: Football and golf in the Dallas-Fort Worth area
As the old saying goes, there are two seasons in Texas -- football and spring football. That may be a little dated, but the sentiment holds true.
Of course, there's nothing like fall for football, but if you really want to do it up right in Texas, combine it with golf. And in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, that combination works quite well.
Perhaps there's no better place to start than Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine near Dallas. Formerly owned by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, this place is all about the Cowboys, all the way from the silver and blue golf carts with numbers from the team's most prominent players to the team star in the fourth fairway to replicas of the Lombardi Trophy in the clubhouse.
Not lost in the Cowboys mania, however, is the terrific Jeff Brauer-designed golf course. The 7,000-yard layout is one fun golf hole after another. And best of all, football season signals relief from the oppressive heat of the summer, which means playing golf during football season is even more attractive.
The best possible combination, of course, is golf in the morning and football in the afternoon. But if you have a DVR, you might find some pretty good deals on the golf courses on Sunday afternoon with less crowded conditions.
The old college try
When it comes to football and golf in the DFW area, there are many great options. From the NFL's most expensive and biggest venue, Cowboys Stadium, to the Cotton Bowl and TCU's new home, Amon Carter Stadium, the Metroplex has plenty of football action to go around. And there's plenty of golf as well.
The Horned Frogs, for example, play their home games in Fort Worth, which not only has several fun golf courses in the vicinity, but plenty to do as well. There's the Stockyards, plenty of great museums and great barbecue.
The Golf Club at Champions Circle was built on a former cattle ranch with plenty of rolling hills, oak-lined fairways and rock outcroppings. Designed by Greg Norman and Jay Morrish, the course plays nearly 7,200 yards with five sets of tees.
The Golf Club at The Resort, also in Fort Worth, runs along the shores of Eagle Mountain Lake. Recently renovated, the course has all new greens and tees.
Or check out The Golf Club at Fossil Creek, an Arnold Palmer design that winds its way through 1,150 acres. Fossil Creek has plenty of bluffs, lakes and, you guessed it, creeks to keep things interesting.
If you're an SMU fan, then you might want to check out some of the nearby Dallas golf courses.
Like SMU, The Golf Club of Dallas has a storied history and it's available to play. Designed by Perry Maxwell, the course was home to the Dallas Open (now the HP Byron Nelson Classic) from 1958-1967. The 6,719-yard par 70 features 52 bunkers, a lake and a winding creek that comes into play on seven holes.
Or you could venture to just north of Dallas to Carrollton to play Coyote Ridge Golf Club, and then take in the gridiron action at the Players Lounge and Grill 19 at its 26,000-square-foot clubhouse.
After Friday night lights
Of course there's football everywhere in Texas, especially when it comes to the high schools, and the DFW area has plenty of those. For years, Plano has produced some of the best high school football teams in the country, and the golf there is pretty decent, too. Los Rios Country Club, for example, is an older, interesting Don January design with plenty of old live oaks around narrow fairways and eight ponds.
Also north is one of the Metroplex's newest facilities, The Trails of Frisco Golf Club is a scenic 6,800-yard par 72 that features wetlands and large undulating Champions greens. It also has a terrific clubhouse with views of the course and plenty of screens for football.
A little farther west in Denton is the elegant Wildhorse Golf Club at Robson Ranch, a par 72 designed by Texas architect Gary Stephenson. And another Stephenson design, not too far away, is Frisco Lakes Golf Club, located within the Del Webb Frisco Lakes Community. The front nine weaves its way through the open countryside, while the back nine makes its way through the master-planned community.
Or head over to North Richland Hills for the Dick Phelps-designed Iron Horse Golf Course, which was built around a railroad theme and features a railroad trestle and three authentic vintage railroad cars. Football fans will also like C.A. Sanford's Grill, which serves up great entrees and appetizers alike.
And finally in Gunter, The Bridges Golf Club is a terrific Brauer/Fred Couples Signature golf course located on the legendary Double M Ranch. Opened in 2008, this links-looking course can play as long as 7,600 yards, but fortunately there are five sets of tees to make it reasonable for the mortal golfer.